The Clerk delivered the following statement at the Annual Parish Meeting held on 17th May 2023:
In the year ending 31st March 2023, the Parish Council received £175,242 including the precept of £27,207 and two grants totalling £77,195. The Parish Council supported Library volunteers in applying for a grant of £8,000 and acted as the accountable body to receive and distribute the funds which were used to redecorate the building, purchase a new laptop computer and complete remedial repairs and alterations to address internal damp conditions. The second grant of £69,195 was for the Outdoor Gym project which was ably managed by Cllr. Rachel Unsworth. The Outdoor Gym Open Day was a huge success with many local residents attending and enjoying trying out the equipment and downloading the app. The project included the installation of the gym equipment, a defibrillator, bike rack and picnic tables plus a five-year maintenance package.
Other income included a £5,000 contribution from Copeland Borough Council towards maintenance and upgrade of the Public Toilets and £17,500 of reclaimed VAT.
The largest area of expenditure was on the cleaning, repairs and services for the public toilets which together cost just over £8,600.
The Parish Council makes provision for grants to the playing field and to the public hall & library (a grant partially in kind) and a smaller donation to St Mary’s for churchyard maintenance.
Reserves in the bank at the end of the year were £39,454 of this amount £16,300 are general reserves held to ensure the Parish Council has sufficient funds to carry out its obligations and for the maintenance of village amenities such as the playground equipment, war memorial and other assets, as well as for any additional unforeseen expenditure. The remaining reserves are ring-fenced for election costs, legal fees, resurfacing the Car Park, the balance of funds to upgrade the public toilets and some donated funds for specific purposes.
I have prepared the Annual Governance & Accountability Return for 2022-23 and will be seeking the approval of the Parish Council this evening prior to submission to the external auditors. Residents on the electoral role have the right to view and question the annual accounts during a consultation period which will be between Monday 5th June and Friday 14th. The accounts and notice of public rights will appear on the notice boards and the website (gosforthpc.org.uk). Please note the accounts are in draft form until the outcome of the external audit. The external auditors report will be posted to the website and notice boards in due course.